Man charged over alleged wakeboarding at war memorial park

A Singaporean man, 24, who allegedly wakeboarded at the War Memorial Park, was charged in court on Monday with wilfully interfering with a national monument. Stephen Kovalkov was charged under Section 22 of the Preservation of Monuments Act for allegedly committing the offence on July 17.

In a joint news release, the Singapore Police Force and National Heritage Board said the police received a report on the incident on July 18.

Four other people, aged between 18 and 24, are also being investigated for their involvement in the act. "National monuments are important markers of our identity and highlight key milestones in Singapore's history," the agencies said.

"The Civilian War Memorial, a national monument, is dedicated to the civilian victims of the Japanese Occupation. Due respect must be accorded to our national monuments, in particular war memorials, and all acts of disrespect are unacceptable."

If found guilty, Kovalkov can be fined up to $30,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.

He will be back in court on Oct 11.

A video of the alleged incident was circulated online in July. In it, a man was seen wakeboarding across the park's water feature, performing a trick with his board which hit the base of the monument.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2021, with the headline 'Man charged over alleged wakeboarding at war memorial park'. Subscribe